My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hot Wheels
-All good things must come to an end. We turned in our 2002 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Pre-Runner. We had no complaints about the service and places that truck took our family. Our replacement new car search started about two months ago. Our track record with buying cars hasn't been the greatest. We have bought the last two vehicles under desperation or a momentary lapse of reason. This time it was going to be educated and logical. I'm pretty good at that...
-We had some basic criteria: 1) Better gas mileage tha our current 16-18, 2) Out of the weather cargo space, 3) Good rear seat leg room for the growing boys. So going to the source of all information, we started with the WWW. I also talked to a few respected friends. We narrowed the choices down to several: Subaru, Toyota, Honda, and Jeep. For S. we liked the Forester. T. had three options of interest the Camry, RAV-4 and Highlander. In H. the Accord and Element. Yes the Element... In J. it was the Liberty. And the Hummer H3.
-Subaru was eliminated because of the high price for what you get. Their engines are interesting and typically long lasting but if anything goes wrong they are done.
-We drove the Toyota RAV-4 and liked it. But it is small in the rear leg room. The Highlander is the right size but gets less that 20 MPG and the Hybrid is too much money for the benefit.
-The Jeep Libery with the V6 doesn't get very good MPG's. We drove the diesel which is nice and gets the right MPG. Jeep wants 32k for that puppy. I don't think so.
- I fell in love with the H3. It has an off-road option that gives bigger tires, Bilstein shocks and 4:1 low range gears in the T-case! The price was a bit high for the budget at about 30k and the improved MPG not.
-Cami felt we needed AWD due to the ice and hills we have where we live. So that eliminated the sedans.
-So we looked at the Honda Element. We drove an automatic 2 wheel drive on a really steep grade and were impressed with the powerplant. Later we drove a manual transmission. The most impressive aspect of the vehicle is its carrying capacity and versatility, plus it has a killer stereo. It even has satellite radio. All this for right around 20k. This looks to us like the best combination of MPG, price, room, AWD, and reputation. So now we have one.
-So far it is great. It is really fun to drive, has lots of room, and the stereo sounds great. So that is how we decided to buy the toaster, the mailbox on wheels, or the cute little boxy Honda. It works and that is what counts. DMP


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At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

Nice ride! Is is AWD? Yes is is. I just reread the post. It would really be nice to have something that got good mpg. Especially important for you since the fam. lives all over the valley.

Have a good weekend.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Carly said...

Looks like you have everything you want--wrapped up in a boxy little package. But really, I think it is cute.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous the goat whisperer's wife said...

I still think it looks like a grown up Mini Cooper. It's fun to drive and NOT a mini van! have a good weekend everyone.

At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice toaster, good color. Dave, my kids want to see a picture of your cool tree house posted on your blog. They are excited to see it next summer.


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